Kashgar lies in far western China in the Uygur Region of Xinjiang. The city is situated at the western end of the Tarim Basin in a fertile oasis of loess and alluvial soils watered by the Kashgar River and by several springs. The fertile oasis allows corn, rice, wheat and cotton, as well as melons, grapes, apricots, peaches and cherries to grow. Various handicrafts such as cotton and silk textiles, leatherwear and pottery are produced in the city and its suburbs.
The historical importance of Kashgar has primarily been linked to its significance as a trading centre. Located at the foot of the Pamirs Mountains between a vast desert and immense mountain range, Kashgar was once an isolated oasis on the long trade route across the Asian continent. It was a major hub along the great Silk Road as the northern and southern Silk Routes crossed here and caravans departed for Central Asia, India, Pakistan and ancient Persia (current Iran). Kashgar’s livestock market named Ivan Bazaar still has the reputation to be one of the largest and most colorful markets in the region.